KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 22): The Prisons Department has two sets of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, said Deputy Home Minister I Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said.
He said the SOPs pertained to the acceptance or admission of new inmates and on their escort.
“The Prisons Department takes measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the prison community based on the SOP set by the Health Ministry to treat, quarantine and prevent the spread of the epidemic.
“This SOP aims to ensure the safety of prisoners, prison staff, the police and all other enforcement personnel involved,” he said in response to a question from Senator Lim Hui Ying in the Dewan Negara today.
Lim wanted to know measures and plans by the government to address the spread of COVID-19 among prisoners and prison staff.
Apart from that, Ismail said the Prisons Department also has its own Standing Order with regards to Covid-19 screening test, which require prisoners to have the results of their Covid-19 screening test before they can be accepted at the respective prisons.
“This order is in line with the decision of the special session of the National Security Council dated last Oct 15 which requires Covid-19 screening test on all prisoners to prevent the spread of the virus,” he added.
In response to a supplementary question from Lim on the possibility of prisoners with minor offences given early release, Ismail said the government has no intention of shortening their prison term during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, he said the right of prisoners who are eligible for parole, release on licence, or through state pardon, will not be hampered.
On measures to overcome overcrowding in prisons, he said, the Prisons Department, among others, implement the Parole System, Compulsory Attendance Order, Industrial Resident Reintegration programme, ‘Corporate Smart Internship’ programme and Release on Licence. – Bernama